The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals With Soul
By Danielle LaPorte
“Knowing how you want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have. Generating those feelings is the most powerfully creative thing you can do with your life.”
In The Desire Map, Danielle LaPorte sets out to provide a new take on goal-setting and achievement. She gives readers the theory and tools for creating their own definition of success, one organized around the ideal of feeling good. The book is both poetic and practical. Motivational and actionable. In the first part of The Desire Map, LaPorte explains her theory. With a writing style that incorporates personal experience, relevant research, poetry, and inspirational quotes, she describes why the reader should focus on their desires and feelings and use those as the foundation for creating a life worth living. In the second half of The Desire Map, LaPorte provides a workbook that marches the reader through an intentional process for generating their own Core Desired Feelings and creating Goals With Soul.
Danielle LaPorte created The Desire Map process while goal-setting one New Year’s Eve. When confronted with a strong feeling that something was missing from her typical list of plans for the year, she scrawled a list of energizing feelings across the page and re-focused on what she could do to feel that way. Over multiple New Year’s Eves the process evolved into something more intentional and structured, with particular emphasis on how she wanted to feel. She described the process at speaking events and made it a chapter in her book The Fire Starter Sessions. Once she felt it was ready, she released it as a stand-alone practice.
I found within The Desire Map the inspiration and motivation to change my definition of success—or rather to take control of defining success in my own life—and more importantly, I found the tools to do so. Like everyone else, I had been indoctrinated on the benefit of SMART goals. I’ve gone through the motions of making New Years’ resolutions that never last. And I inevitably feel a sense of failure when I don’t live up to my own expectations, or life interferes in my best laid plans. LaPorte’s new take on goal-setting is the antidote to that feeling of failure and loss. She’s created a methodology that is structured enough for a novice goal-setter to follow but is also broad enough that each individual can move through the process in their own way.
Walking through The Desire Map process made a profound impact on my life. But the book is not without its limitations. The Desire Map is clearly geared toward a female audience, creating a high barrier to entry for men who would benefit equally from its content. A few of the chapters also could have been edited, tightened, or eliminated, to ensure that each component was useful to the reader’s progression through the theory and practice. However, I don’t believe these minor flaws detract significantly from the overall benefit of her message.
I recommend The Desire Map for everyone. I’ve gifted copies to friends at milestone birthdays, those going through divorce, and those thinking about transition to new careers or discerning whether to go after the next rung on the ladder. I’ve given it to friends who were overwhelmed by their to-do list and dissatisfied with their current goal-setting routine. It also is the perfect Christmas gift in anticipation of the New Year’s resolution rush.
I invite you to judge The Desire Map for yourself and share your thoughts in the comments.. You can purchase a hardcopy (recommended because of the workbook) here.
For more information on how I’ve incorporated The Desire Map into my own life and practice, please visit my blog.